Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Ping Pong Madness

This is the most insane sports video I've seen in a long time. I thought I'd throw this video up since a ping pong movie titled Balls of Fury is coming out on Friday. Check this out:

Monday, August 27, 2007

Book Review - Diamond Dollars

Diamond Dollars: The Economics of Winning in Baseball
by Vince Gennaro

I finished the last page of this book yesterday. It is not for the casual baseball fan. It is also not for the easily distracted reader. Vince Gennaro explains through in-depth analysis why teams do what they do. He answers questions like this:

  • Why pay Daisuke Matsuzaka all that money of which $50 million was just to have the rights to buy Daisuke from his Japanese team? (To keep the Yankees from getting him, but also to draw international revenue dollars from Japan. Hypothetically, the Sox would lose money if they didn't make that happen.)
  • Why don't the Pirates spend more money to field a better team? (Because their local market would not support the increase in wins enough to pay for the extra costs in buying better players)
  • Why do the Yankees spend so much? (Because their player development system and drafting skills are awful)

    Vince digs in and tells us that the Yankees are masters at branding their team, but because they typically have horrible drafts and lack in the ability to develop their minor league players, they have to pay for superstars to win now. The Dodgers are in the same camp.

    However, the Indians, A's, Braves and Twins have great drafts and develop their players much better. They HAVE to, their pockets are not as deep. This is how those teams are able to compete with the bigger spenders.

    Diamond Dollars is one of those books that you'll probably understand 75% of. However, it will open your eyes to a whole other side to baseball. A side that explains why your team does what is does. If you've ever gotten mad at a move your team made, this is the book that can explain why they made that move.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Xtreme Baseball

A new kind of baseball has been introduced. It's called Xtreme Baseball, and it was invented by Phil Weidner. Watch the video preview below to learn more about it. I also included a diagram of what the field looks like.

We all saw what happened to the XFL...this will have the same fate, except nobody will even ever know it was attempted. Right now, only a few cities in Florida have a team. It is extreme. Extremely boring, extremely confusing for the average fan and NOT that extremely creative. Well, the field is, but it stops there.

If your going to try to create an Xtreme form of baseball give the fans everything they love about baseball, but to the "Xtreme" (pun intended). Let the players use corked bats for more homeruns, raise the pitchers mound and move it closer to the batter while your at it. Let players use all the pine tar they want and as far down the bat as they want. Heck, let them use metal bats! Make the fences 30 feet high. Cork the balls as well and make the seams so high the pitchers will be breaking off curve balls that drop 3 feet. That would be extreme baseball. This league they've got is just the same 'ole game with players 10 times worse.

The Field

The Video

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Best Boxscore Ever?

Last night the Texas Rangers were down 3-0 going into the 4th inning against the Baltimore Orioles. Final score, 30-3, Texas wins! Texas had 2 grand slams and 2 guys (Vazquez, Saltalamacchia) with 7 RBIs. The impressive thing was that Texas did it with 29 hits.

The Orioles went through just 4 pitchers, which isn't many considering they were getting totally embarrassed. I guess at some point you just give up and save your pitchers for your next game....which, by the way was right after this one! I thought Leo Mazzone left Atlanta to help the Baltimore pitching situation? A team has to really try to give up 30 runs. Even Little League games don't reach that stratosphere. Check out the full boxscore >>

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Sports Movie Review
Last week I watched what is supposed to be a sports movie classic, Le Mans, starring Steve McQueen. Boring! The first 30 minutes of the film had no talking and was just the slow process of getting the race started. It dragged on so long I felt like I was in the Le Mans....which maybe was the point and I totally missed it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

NBA Players Still Hanging On

What is it with NBA players and coming out of retirement? They just can't move on and make the adjustment in their lives. I think this attention starved players just love all the press they get each time they come out and back into retirement (Michael Jordan, Magic Johnson). Charles Oakley and Reggie Miller are contemplating about coming out of retirement. Miller is 42 years old and hasn't played in 2 years in which he averaged 14 PPG (missing 15 games). Miller would play for the Boston Celtics. Full story.

Oakley is 43 and wants to play for the Orlando Magic. Last time he played a full season was the 2000-2001 season. Ouch! Orlando...there's no Magic in that. He could be Dwight Howard's dad. Oakley played into the 03-04 season but appeared in just 7 games and in only 42 the year before that. Full story.

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One of the greatest questions of this century has finally been answered. Who let the dogs out? Michael Vick. Full story.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Fantasy Football Tips

I play in a highly competive fantasy football league. The last three years I've finished 1, 2 and 1 respectively and last year also won first in another public Yahoo! league. So, naturally, I'm always being asked for drafting tips. Well, I may regret this, but here they are:

  • Draft RBs on teams that score alot - Obvious, but many times forgotten in the heat of the draft. Touchdowns are king in most leagues so a RB on this type of team will benefit from this.
  • Draft WRs on teams that pass alot - The WR position is one that can really set you apart from the pack because there are not many receivers that are consistent. Drafting a receiver on a team that passes alot (Colts, Bengals, Rams, Cardinals) will strenghten your teams consistency from week to week.
  • Draft single committe RBs - We all hate the RBBC teams such as the Jaguars, Cowboys Vikings, Saints because things are so up and down from week to week. A back that gets most of the carries is also going to get most of the rushing TDs. He'll also get alot of receptions just because he's in the game most of the time.
  • Draft RBs that get receptions - Last year Steven Jackson was the 2nd leading receiver on the Rams. A RB that can catch is almost like having an extra player on your team. This is huge!
  • Don't draft alot of players that play in cold climates - This is important, especially late in the season when things matter and the weather is getting colder. A game played outside in the snow or freezing weather does one thing....slows the game down. It's hard to catch, run, pivot...just about everything. It's hard for a players to put up good fantasy numbers when they are playing in the cold. Most of these games are like 10-7 games so that's never good for fantasy points.
  • Take risks - If you risk pays off....your a champion. Last year I took Randy Moss early, that didn't pay off. The year before I took T.O. when he went to the Cowboys and everyone was skeptical...that did payoff, he had a great year. If you risk doesn't work out, no worries, I believe there is always a player you can grab off the free agency that can fill that gap. You just may need to wait and watch the injury report closely. Last year I got Ladell Betts mid-season and he put my team above everyone else.

Hope that helps. Its worked for me for years.

Three RB Sleeper Picks - these are guys I think you'll get later then the first or maybe second round that could have breakout years.

  1. Travis Henry - I wouldn't be surprised if he gained 1800 yards this year. It's the first time that Denver has had just one back taking most of the carries. Last time that happened was Reuben Droughns later in 2004...he dominated, but wasn't a dominating back, just a product of the great Denver O-Line.
  2. Cedric Benson - With the absence of Thomas Jones (Jets) Benson could benefit greatly. He'll get all the carries. Rex isn't gonna break any passing records, so Benson will be relied upon a bunch. Besides, the Bears are a notorious running team. Benson could be this years Frank Gore. You heard it here.
  3. Edgerrin James - This could be the top sleeper of the year. Many think he's too old because of just one bad season on a team with no offensive line. Edge just turned 30 and don't forget he rushed for 1500 yards just 2 years ago and did rush for 1159 last year on a horrible team. Edge really picked it up later last year and the Cardinals have a new coach, more experienced QB, great recievers (that will open things up) and are focusing on their offensive line. Russ Grimm is the offensive line coach and the cards drafted OL Levi Brown in the first round.

Stayed tuned for more sleeper picks from other positions over the coming days.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Bonds Is Innocent!

I must apologize. I have always been a big opponent of Barry Bonds and the suspicion surrounding his steroid use. However, I did the responsible thing and went back to his rookie card to see exactly what his physique was when Bonds entered the league. I stand corrected, he's not that much bigger now.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Enough Is Enough

This past week was Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. Like most men, I love sharks. I could watch shark programs for hours. Guys just love watching sharks do just about anything. I remember last year during Shark Week being completely amazed at this one guy who spent weeks swimming around Great White sharks until he was finally able to grab ones top fin and go for a little ride. It was AWESOME!

This year, naturally, I was as cranked as ever to watch. Many great programs but then one episode went too far. The scuba divers were putting tiger sharks, reef sharks, hammerheads and even tried getting huge full grown Great Whites under what they call tonic. Tonic is when the diver swims up to the shark, covers its eyes and basically puts the shark in a dazed sleep. Enough already! So now we are petting sharks? We are turning them over so we can "hang out" with them? Honestly, if one of you divers get bit, I will not feel bad.

Every year they take it a step further. When will they be satisfied? In 5 years I'll be watching and it will be like this:

"Today we are going to do something never done before in shark research. We are going to have our diver go inside the shark's mouth, see what he's eaten....and then crawl back out. And then we are going to see if the shark will wear this t-shirt."

Just keep showing sharks eating seals. That's enough for us.

Friday, August 10, 2007

I'm Flatlining

I'm turning back and forth between the Saints/Bills game and Patriots/Bucs game...bored out of my gizzard. I'd rather be watching a Boa Constrictor eat a deer on the Discovery Channel. What is it about the NFL preseason that just makes you feel like your watching MLS soccer? Any minute now all the starters will be sitting for the last 3 quarters and then I'm just watching NFL Europe players in different uniforms. Make it stop.

I'm just waiting for someone in my fantasy football league to tell me they know this years "sleeper" cause they saw some no-name rush for 15 yards in the 4th quarter.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Introducing Faceball

Are you stuck in the office and love sports? There is a new office game called faceball. Basically, you compete against your co-workers by standing 10 feet from someone and throwing a ball at their face. The one who is most accurate after 5 rounds, wins. Check out the full story. I gotta try this. Honestly, there is not much more in life as exciting as throwing a ball as hard as you can at a friends face knowing there are no consequences.

Hey JaMarcus...Get To Work!

NFL News reports that the negotiations between JaMarcus Russell and the Oakland Raiders are still nowhere close to a deal. With the season just 5 weeks away you'd think that JaMarcus would want to get to work, especially since he could be leading the worst offensive team from a year ago. I understand the money issue to some degree but at what point does a rookie want to get to work. Think about if we all "held out" after getting our diploma.

Let me run the numbers for you. JaMarcus is going to make at least $8 million dollars of guaranteed money. If you invested $8 million in an Etrade account at 5% then you would have over $1,000 A DAY just in interest alone for the rest of your life! You'd still be retaining the original $8 million. That's not even considering his normal salary and endorsements, which would separately exceed $8 million.

Again, I understand that these athletes go through alot and you have to get paid now because in the NFL you can be cut without pay at anytime (just like every other American), but a rookie is just that. The Raiders may be giving JaMarcus all this money only to make their team worse (time will tell). Currently the Raiders have Josh McCown, Daunte Culpepper and Andrew Walters as their depth chart.

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Yankees are 21-7 since the All-Star Break, just 6 games back.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

# 756

Though many of us rooted against it, as a baseball fan it was exciting to see. You'll be able to tell your grandkids that you watched when Bonds hit 756 in the midst of the steriods scandal. Now, let's all root for ARod to break Bonds records.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Pacman Turns Macho Man

Recent news that Pacman Jones, the Titans DBack that has legal troubles for fighting in a strip club, wants to now do it professionaly...and get paid for it! NFL.com reports that Jones is joining Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.

Pacman, throw on some shades and your the new macho man! Although, how macho is it to beat on strippers???

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Why It Took Barry and A-Rod So Long

I was not surprised to see that it took Bonds and A-Rod longer than expected between their latest milestone HRs. Both of these guys have never been guys you could count on in the clutch. They are not pressure guys which is why they struggled to put up number 755 and 500 respectively. We knew they would eventually hit 'em...but they showed that although legends, still fold under pressure.

Bonds is hitting just .245 in post-season play and ARod is only hitting .280 which is better but he was just 1 for 14 in his latest 2006 playoff stint. These two arguably the best 2 players of our time and perhaps all-time, yet they struggle when it counts. How much does that matter? Let's hear your thoughts.

Bonds Fails in the Clutch